07 Dec Friday Files – INTERVIEW WITH AN UPCOMING FURNITURE DESIGNER: MATHIEU COTTIN
Born in France, Mathieu Cottin is a skilled and talented Australian craftsman. Using his background in upholstery, Mathieu takes inspiration from what surrounds him to create these undeniably, breathtaking pieces. We had the opportunity to interview Mathieu about his creative work.
Where and how did you learn your profession?
Since I’ve been a teenager, I always had a passion for design quality and craft. I did an apprenticeship in France learning traditional upholstery, and keep travelling after that in different regions of France to improve my skills over a few years. It was a very valuable and enriching human experience.
Have you always been interested in furniture making?
First I was passionate by the restoration of beautiful French antiques furniture. It is amazing to see the craft and details realised centuries ago all by hand.
Once I left France my ambition grew to become a furniture maker one day.
Why did you come to Australia and how long have you been in the country?
I came to Australia for travel about eight years ago with my wife and decided to stay in Adelaide. I started my furniture making business as soon as my permanent Australian visa allowed me to, so the beginning of 2018.
What inspired you to work in the design industry?
I guess I have been inspired by other designers and makers I meet in Adelaide.
Do you use and like working with Australian materials?
I wish I could but most products I use are imported. I do use some Tasmanian oak, in the frame of my chair; it is strong and durable like European beech wood.
Do you keep into account sustainability in a lot of your designs?
My furniture is traditionally handmade, so built to last and easy to be reupholstered when the time will be required. I am also trying to use as much natural products as possible. I think it is my way to be sustainable.
What do you enjoy most about being a furniture designer?
I think it’s the freedom of creativity, it doesn’t feel like working most of the time. But I take a lot of inspiration and influence from mid-century Danish furniture. All my designs are a little French-inspired.
What are the most challenging and difficult parts of your job?
I think the transition from the drawing to the first conception can be challenging, it feel like “sometimes a piece just doesn’t want to be made”. But it can also be really rewarding to see a project taking shape.
What inspires you in your creative process?
I take inspiration from anything and anywhere. It could be any elements, shapes or colours, from nature or mankind. I often analyse buildings, furniture and objects, wondering why they are designed and built this way. It’s allowing me to hone in on the purpose of each and every element within the furniture.
Are there any design styles and fabric styles you favour more than others?
Not really, it changes all the time, It is important the fabric styles suit the furniture. The craft technique inspires me a lot, and the comfort and quality of living with my furniture.
What did you do with the Boyac Bute fabrics?
I am using it for upholstering a new armchair and a sofa I made a few months ago.
I am very excited and hope it to be finish and ready for launching at the end of 2018. Today I am still working as an upholsterer and still enjoying it but I would like to become full time designer and maybe in the future helping younger generations to make chairs…